tv In the Arena CNN July 7, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
though you heard richard quest saying perhaps, perhaps he sees money to be made here. that's all for right now. hope to see you back tomorrow night. "in the arena" starts right now. good evening. welcome to the program. i'm tom foreman. shock waves are rolling through the media world tonight over what looks like a criminal enterprise operating inside of a newsroom. high-profile figures targeted for a gangster style roundup, and all of it taking place under the leadership of one of the richest and most powerful men in america. it sounds like a hollywood thriller, but this is real life, it's playing out in london, and sending tremors all the way to american shores. rupert murdoch, the owner of fox news, 20th century fox, the "new york post," and a number of other vast media powerhouses is under fire tonight, hours after
he took the dramatic step of abruptly closing down one of his biggest tabloid newspapers. it is called "the news of the world," and it is at the center of a scandal that just keeps getting wider and deeper by the hour. reporters there are accused of hacking into the voice mail of innocent people to get stories, one of them a 13-year-old murder victim, and allegedly paying thousands of dollars to police officers to get them to reveal secrets in high-profile cases. murdoch's son and heir apparent, james murdoch, went on the bbc to try to limit the damage. take a look. >> i feel regret. clearly, the practices of certain individuals did not live up to the standards and quality of journalism that we believe in and that i believe in. and that this company believes in. >> americans are no strangers to the dark side of tabloid culture. of course, just take a look at some of the coverage in the casey anthony case, for example.
but in great britain, this reaches a whole other level. in a moment, i'll be talking about all of this with a couple of keen observers. but first, a look at some of the other stories i'll be drilling down on tonight. obama under fire. they say he's too quick to cave, and that's the democrats talking. >> do not consider social security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country. and the last shuttle flight, as it roars into space, it leaves behind one small american town and a love affair 30 years in the making. then, he's conducted over 40,000 interview interviews, on first-name basis with everybody, including a wizard named harry. that rhymes with larry. e.d. hill talks with the king, live. we have so much going on tonight. but let's get back to our top story first, because it's impossible to overstate the impact of this.
this is the most widely read english newspaper on the planet, and it's under the leadership of an american media tycoon, and now it is publishing its last page on sunday, going out of business after more than a century. a newspaper that lived by scandal now dies by it. cnn's richard quest has been covering the story from london. i spoke to him about the latest developments a short time ago. richard, what is the sense on the street there among people? is this the murdoch family finally doing the right thing or simply saying, for a long time we've been doing the wrong thing? >> well, in the sense that -- you can take it at numerous levels. you can first of all take it that they're doing the right thing, the revulsion that is being felt by people in britain means that closing "the news of the world was an
inevidentability, they also want to lop it off and get rid of it. and those who are even suggesting that, frankly, it was always intended, eventually, to lose the "news of the world," and that it will merely be replaced by a sunday existing of one of the existing titles. in other words, one big, vast cost-saving measure. a politician in britain tonight said, it's a smoke screen. if it is, then once again, the murdoches have played their hand extremely well. >> you talk about a smoke screen and the politicians there. politicians are on the run from this, aren't they? some of them in the past have been very fond of having murdoch publications endorse them, get behind them. now they're trying to say, we've had nothing to do with the man behind the curtain. >> yes, and you see, the thing is that parties from both sides, the labor party, for example, the socialist labor party could never have got elected, perhaps,
originally, if the "sun" newspaper, the murdoch staple, hadn't supported them. they always needed them, david cameron, needed the "sun" to come back on to his hands. david come cameron is close friends with rebecca brooks, the editor during this scandal, and is now the top executive. what hugh grant said to me yesterday, basically, the actor, is, it stinks. the stench of collusion between government, politics, media is so entrenched here that one this nasty story got going, the sewage was going to seep across everybody. >> is there a sense, though, that the sewage has now been mopped or is this just the beginning? >> no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. and in case you didn't quite get that, i'll say it again, no. because, tom, what we're going
to get next are these two public inquiries, one into the hacking, one into the payments made by the police. and then it gets really interesting. because then the police are going to have to start to investigate, not only who made the payments, which policemen received them, it's all against the law. it will be a question of, come with me, please. i think you have some questions to answer. and nobody for a moment doubts that some people will find themselves before the courts, and if convicted, if convicted, in prison. >> and the story will no doubt roll on and you'll be there for us. thanks, richard. >> thank you. tabloid culture in britain holds a powerful sway in politics and culture, so it's a bombshell announcement that britain's largest tabloid is closing. again, we just can't say enough about what a shock this is. with constant competition for the latest scandal, are these
tabloids crossing the line into crime? joining me now, phil bronstein, editor in chief for the "san francisco chronicle", and bonnie fuller, the editor in chief of hollywoodlife.com. let me start with you, ffel, so many people in this country already think that the media is constantly in collusion, doing dirty tricks, making secret deals. what's the good news in this scandal coming out of london? >> first of all, "news of the world," it never was. and the reason that it was the highest circulated newspaper in the world is not -- does not have anything to do with news, necessarily, as it has to do with semi-naked people and celebrities and scandal, and better even if you can put them all together. the good news here, though, because we don't rejoice in the closing of any newspaper these days, but it could happen to any one of us. but the good news is that there are actually boundaries. which in this culture, in the celebrity tabloid culture, and i don't blame tabloids for that,
it's the culture at large, it's nice to know there are boundaries. and apparently rupert murdoch, as you pointed out, is the last great press barren, found one of those boundaries and stepped over it. and there were consequences. it's always good to know what the prompters of your cultures in the extremes. >> bonnie, what are the parameters for the culture media? i'm not sure i entirely agree with phil. sometimes when i hear about some of these tabloids closing, i'm delighted. because i've spent my life trying to be a serious journalist and i think a lot of tabloid reporting is not serious at all. >> well, first of all, i think we have a very different newspaper culture here and a very different tabloid culture. we don't have the kind of press wars, tabloid wars that were going on in britain. i mean, there they had numerous tabloids, people buy them in the millions every day. they've not had the declining newspapers that we've had here. >> and it's real cutthroat stuff over there. >> very cutthroat stuff. and our newspapers have always generally been more serious.
now, there's only a couple of tabloids. we've got them here in new york, the "new york post," the "daily news," and they're very lively, but nobody, i think, would feel that they have stooped to the level of what was going on, the kind of scandals and we're not looking at any kind of allegations like these for our newspapers here. but our whole culture is very different. our popular culture. >> talk to me a little bit about that, bonnie, this popular culture. i've watched it over years, in certain cases, the o.j. simpson case, the tanya harding case, the ramsey murder case, they took over the news business, and frankly, i don't blame people for not trusting us. we start running this stuff like evening soap operas instead of saying, there are more serious matter outs there. the tabloids led the way on that, for sure. >> that's true, but listen. it's understandable. it's normal for people to be interested in these major crime stories. i mean, look at the casey anthony story. it riveted the nation. but it rivets -- these cases
rivet the nation for a deferent reason. people want to find out the truth. they actually are looking for that. and also, i mean, in the case of casey anthony, women, i think, were mesmerized by this, because they identified as mothers. and they wondered how can i, you know, how could any loving mother do this to a child. and we look at celebrities different here. we relate to celebrities as if they are our friends and to public figures. and we actually kind of measure ourselves against them. >> in fairness, phil, bonnie has a point there, we cothdo that, i'm not so certain that we don't do that because we've encouraged our readers and viewers to do that. i remember newsroom where we were told, we're not in the business of what's interesting, we're in the business of what's important. so there was a natural governor on cases like the casey anthony case or the o.j. simpson trial where we said, enough, already, let's get back to business.
are we set up for the same thing that happened in london to happen here? >> i think it probably does happen here. and it happens at various levels. it wasn't that many years ago, maybe a few decades ago, that reporters and columnists for "the new york times" were colluding with government officials and intelligence agencies. i mean, this kind of thing is not unheard of. and this whole idea of objective, serious journalism, yes, ox salgtsberger, they've been doing it for the last 100 years. but we've occasionally engaged in these sort of activities as the murdoches were in this circumstance. i think it's really about culture. the culture, we're in the roman amphitheater portion of our historical cultural curve at the moment. i saw a reality tv show last night, two guy guys, two wins w were metal workers who are making government armaments. i was sitting there watching,
thinking, why am i watching? it's not funny, it's not dramatic, but members of the public are becoming celebrities. so it's the whole culture that's kind of pushed it out. you can still get serious news, you can get it a lot of places. you can get it in the "san francisco chronicle," in "the new york times", in "the atlantic,," and "the new yorker". it exists out there, but in this particular moment of our cultural history, when people say, we want serious news, there are a smaller portion of the people who actually consume news and information. and people will be making choices, particularly with social networks, that are going on, facebook and twitter and so forth. it will be the public more and more making those decisions for us about what it is they want to consume. so i think we have to be a little bit careful. >> let me get back to bonnie for a minute here. bonnie, what are the limits for people in tabloid journalism? what would you say, if a young person came in, tabloid
journalism and they said, what should i not do? what should limits be? >> of course, the limit is to obey the law. that is the most important limit. you cannot break the law. >> is that the only limit? there are a lot of things in our life that are not illegal, but are sure wrong. >> i'm not sure what you're getting at here. >> you know what i'm getting at, you know, victimizing a child. take advantage of the grief of somebody who, really, you know, may have no sense of it. a 5-year-old crying over her mother, that doesn't seem right. >> i think you have to look at what is news. if something happens, do you not cover it? do you not look into cases of grief? do you not cover families who lose people in war? you could make a case that you're not going to cover anything sad. >> yeah, well, i guess, but that sounds like you're going to an extreme i'm not sure i buy. anyway, we'll wrap it up here and move on. i appreciate you coming in here,
bonnie, and talking about it, and phil as well. we'll hear about this case overseas and if more washes up on our shores here. phil, bonnie, appreciate it. coming up, casey anthony, speaking of that, gets out of jail in six days, we're going to ask the legendary lawyer who defended michael jackson, is justice truly blind or clueless? but first, when harry met larry, e.d. hill explains what that's all about. e.d., what's up? >> what would make daniel radcliffe, better known as harry potter, weep? and what amazing news can larry king share tonight? you'll find out later in the show. >> thanks a lot, e.d. looking forward to it. and when we come back, justice itself on trial. sure, it's a seemy case, but the serious issue is before us. stay put. [ female announcer ] there's a new way to let go
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no justice for caylee, arrest the jury, thanks for letting a killer go free. on july 13th, casey anthony will, indeed, walk free. and judging by the protest signs outside the florida courthouse today, plenty of people are outraged that she was acquitted of murdering her child and will be on the street so soon. but according to my next guest tonight, this is exactly how the system should work. he is a lawyer whose client, like casey anthony, was presumed guilty, and like casey anthony, was acquitted. the accused in that case was none other than michael jackson. and my guest is defense attorney tom mesereau. tom, thanks so much for joining us here. why do you say this is how the system should work in the casey anthony case, because so many people obviously think this is exactly how it shouldn't work.
>> well, the system is supposed to be above emotion, above the masses, above the media. it's a system that works around certain rules that are strictly applied, and we're not supposed to just knuckle under the emotions of the moment. and that's exactly what this jury did, and they're to be commended. they did exactly what they were supposed to do, in my opinion. >> one of the things that i was struck by, as i watch the public reaction to this was, whenever i've been in courtroom on big trials, i'm always struck by how different it is being there, actually seeing all the evidence versus sitting at home on the la-z-boy, getting the highlights. >> well, they're under oath, they have a solemn responsibility to a life. they also know they have a solemn obligation to observe and hear and see everything and to apply the law strictly as it's given to them. that is a very different perspective than just turning on
the tube and having some fun or turning on the internet and just look at someone or something for 10 minutes or 20 minutes or whatever it is. it's a totally different perspective. >> i've often been struck by the notion that when you look at some of these things from the outside, it's very easy to think you know things, because you get that veneer of things. but the moment in this trial when the defense attorney stood up with that chart and basically said, did the prosecution prove this? no. did they prove this? no. did they prove this? no. i watched that, and i thought, that may be the turning point. as a juror, if you take your vows seriously, you have to look at that and say, yeah, i didn't see that stuff. so how can i find this person guilty. >> well, i think these lawyers on the defense did a great job from the beginning. first of all, they picked a good jury. you know, they had to work within certain parameters, just like the prosecutors did, but they got a jury that was willing to listen to what they had to say. second of all, i think that mr. baez in his opening statement
gave a detailed, prepared, passionate, personable statement to the jury and gave them an alternate story and alternative that kept their eyes open. people like to say, everyone's presumed innocent, but really you're presumed guilty if you're sitting at the defense table. what these defense lawyers did, very professionally, was they kept the jurors' mind open, they attacked the prosecution's evidence in a way which was understandable. they went bit by bit and showed they had not proven the things they promised to prove. and in the end, i think these jurors did what they had to do. they acquitted. they said, this case is not proven, we don't know how she died, where she died, when she died, the defendant's hair and fingerprints are not on the duct tape. no one can tell us exactly what happened. we can't speculate. the judge told us we cannot speculate, the case must be proven, and they did their job. >> it seems like some of the jurors that are speaking up
basically are saying, look, we didn't say she was innocent, we said we could not convict her. and i often think that's a distinction that is lost on the general public. they think anytime a person walks away, that that person is innocent. you're a defense lawyer, you don't even believe that, do you? >> well, there are some systems where the jury has three options. they can say guilty, they can say innocent, or they can say not proven. and a lot of people think that would be a better system here. but nevertheless, not guilty does not necessarily mean innocent, although it could mean innocent. it means, really, that they were told job was you must strictly apply the law. you must apply reasonable doubt to every single element of a defense. and if they fall short, you must acquit. these people had to follow the judge's instructions, they were under oath, and they were there to do what they did in my opinion. they were not to knuckle under the media or the masses or people who have whatever grudge
they have. they have to follow the law, they have to look at everything that goes on in the courtroom and do their job. they are under oath. >> when you look all the of these people that are complaining about this and showing signs and all that, i tack it you are looking at them and saying, you folks are wrong. this is our justice system and that's the way it works. >> look, in 95% of criminal trials result in convictions. 95%. i'm hearing everybody talk about now that reasonable doubt is too high a standard. it's nonsense. most of the time they convict. additionally, over 200 people now have been released from death sentences and lengthy prison sentences because of dna technology. how about those cases where there was no dna to test? i mean, our system is the best in fact world, our standards are the highest, we have the fairest system in the world, but even still, injustice happens repeatedly. so you can't say this is too high a standard when you get 95% of convictions in criminal jury trials. >> tom mesereau, nice perspectives there. interesting in the face after all of this public outrage about
it. good to have you with us. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. coming up inust a moment, the sparks are flying all around debt ceiling debate tonight as president obama steps on the third rail. that's social security and it shocked his own party. now he's taking jolts from the left and the right. that story is dead ahead. lligene that's helping drive the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
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in washington today, the unthinkable -- president obama grabbed the third rail of american politics, suggesting he might be willing to reform social security, to reach a deal with republicans in their impasse over the debt ceiling. the president gathered congressional leaders around the bargaining table earlier today, hoping to come to some sort of agreement, before the u.s. defaults on its debt next month, but how far will these negotiations go. for more on all of this, i'm joined by cnn political journalist, david gurdergegerge.
david, i must say, i was really shocked that the president actually engaged this, knowing how much democrats were going to bite back on this. >> i was too, tom. the president's putting a lot of chips on the table right now, isn't he? he is staking a lot of his presidency on whether he can get some sort of, quote, megadeal, as much as $3 to $4 trillion. and right now there's a possibility of it. john boehner, the house speaker said to his caucus this morning before the meeting, a 50/50 chance we'll get this done and make a deal. i personally think chances are much less than 50/50. >> even if he gets the deal, but does it through a concession like this that democrats hate so much, or many of them do, i'm not sure i understand the strategy here. because can't the republicans then walk away and say, we got the deal because we forced him into it? >> i want to say one thing. from the country's point of view, if we get a big deal, a big megateal, it will be very, very healthy for the finances. so i think we need to separate out what's good for the country versus what's good for the
politics. in terms of the politics of it, i have been very surprised at how much the president is conceding, up front, without getting very much in return. in fact, as far as i can tell, he hasn't gotten anything in return. >> is that good for the country? the truth is, when you have a big "titanic" war like this, you want people to be agreeable, but you also want them to represent their interests, because they're supposed to represent the interests of a lot of people in the country. >> i'm someone who believes that the simpson/bowles commission report was a sound way to go. and they called for cutting $2 of spending for every $1 in tax increases or revenue increases. i thought that was pretty sound. in britain, they did three-for-one in the cameron conservative government. but there was always a one. there was always a revenue increase. i personally think that's the right way to go. but republicans are holding on this, they feel very strongly, no tax increases, so what's happening is, the president is conceding more and more spending cuts, and now he's starting to promise entitlement reform,
medicare and social security. you and i never thought we'd be talking about this now. and progressive democrats are saying, wait a minute. that's the issue we're going to run on. we're going to run in 2012 as saying, protect medicare. nancy pelosi said just the other day, there are three big issues for us in 2012 -- medicare, medicare, medicare. and here now what they've got is the president saying, i'm willing to -- >> harry reid too. harry reid is getting on that bandwagon, saying, we've got to protect this. >> and that compromises democrats, it takes them off the high road for 2012. and i think what we're seeing is the president's interests in 2012 are not the same as members of the house and senate, not progressive democrats. the house and senate all want to run on, let's protect medicare and social security from these terrible republicans. president obama's interest is not in that, but having a megadeal that actually advances the economy and pleases the independent voters. he wants to get the independent voters to get his big majority. so you've got a growing split
now between a lot of the progressives, nancy pelosi must be just furious about what she sees going on, there's a nasty letter circulating among some of the democrats in the house. and i think the issue is coming down to whether we get a megadeal. not to whether republicans are going to raise taxes, i don't think they are. the i think the issues coming down, are the democrats willing to accept a deal that has almost nothing in terms of tax increases. >> can -- in talking about just the political side of this, let's say we get through this, and a deal is produced and the collapse of default, all of this is pushed off. it doesn't happen. i guess my question, politically is, can the president come out of this well? i mean, if he does that, yeah, maybe he wins the independents, but if he's pushed -- he's got to have the independents to get re-elected, i know that. but if he so infuriated so much of his base that they just won't play ball, then can he get enough independents to still win? >> it could be very hard. you've got to remember what happened to george h.w. bush when he was running for
re-election back in '92. and he accepted tax increases over the anger of the base, and he lost some of that base, some of the base stayed home and he lost to bill clinton. he lost the election over it. it so could be quite possible that if the democratic got really angry, it's too late to put up a candidate against obama in the primaries, but they could get them to stay home. i think the president is counting on, if you cut it enough, the financial markets will be so happy, the economy will start getting some momentum, we'll get the unemployment rate down, and overall things will be better. and by the way, he think it's the right thing to do, to get these big cuts, it is the right thing to do for the country. but the question was not just getting the cuts, but what's the balance within the deal. >> and i must say, and we're about out of time here, but it seems like one of the things i'm struck by that in a practical sense, what's happening is people are simply running out of real estate to maneuver, particularly the white house. they're running out of time, running out of space, and the clock is ticking, ticking,
ticking, both to the debt ceiling and the election. >> that's why i feel neither side is going to cave on this big issue of taxes, and rather than getting a megadeal, we'll small back to a much smaller deal. the president says he might veto that. very complex, a fascinating story, a lot at stake. >> so much changing, so fast. david gergen, so good to have you here with us. coming up, the fire from the left. we've been talking about it here. some democrats are screaming that this possible compromise from the president sounds more like a surrender. i'll talk to a leading congressional democrat whose message to the president is really simple, i am not voting for that. 14 clubs. that's what they tell us a legal golf bag can hold. and while that leaves a little room for balls and tees, it doesn't leave room for much else.
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ceiling, if social security and medicare are on the table. i spoke to one of the democratic congresswoman of illinois just moments ago. representative schecowski, thank you so much for joining us. if the message from the white house comes out that the only way to make a deal is by talking about entitlements, social security in particular, and some kind of reductions, what will your response be? >> my response is that i would not vote for any deal that includes that. number one, social security has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit. it has a surplus of over $2 trillion and it should be, if it's going to be on a table, it should be on a very separate table, and deal with creating solvency for 75 years. but the very idea that we would agree to cut programs that serve middle income and low income
senior citizens in order to allow the republicans to continue letting the wealthiest americans get tax breaks on their yachts, i'm sorry. that's a no vote for me. >> congresswoman, let me challenge you on that, though. because one of the arguments to the contrary would be, this isn't about more privileges for the wealthy, this is about heading off a crisis with the debt ceiling, which republicans and democrats alike say is on the way. no matter who benefits or who loses, that's what this is fundamentally about. >> well, absolutely, you're right. and we could have a very clean vote on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. and raising the debt ceiling doesn't mean that it would suddenly unleash spending. what it means is that the profit, the united states of america, would be able to pay its bills. bills it already has, obligations that it has. the full faith and credit of the united states. you're absolutely right. none of this has to be part of the discussion. it's the republicans who have said, no way will we do what's right and raise that debt ceiling so we can pay our bills
without extracting something in the way of cut well, the cuts that they've suggested are completely unjustified and hurt the people that have the least to do with causing any kind of a debt or deficit. >> so are you saying, then, that the debt ceiling should simply be raised with no regard for any additional expenses, that we can raise it, let's just keep raise it and keep spending? >> i say -- no. no, let's raise it, let's pay our bills, and then let's have a ra rational discussion, without having a gun to our head, about the full faith and credit of the united states. i mean, this would plummet the country into a deep depression and probably a worldwide economic recession, if not depression. i mean, it has serious, serious consequences. but, yes, absolutely, i was on the simpson bowles commission. i agree that we need to do something to reduce our debt. but to do it on the backs of moderate and low-income people, especially our seniors, no,
that's not the way to go. we don't need to do it that way, especially when the wealthy are getting away with huge tax breaks left and right. >> how do we get past this point, though, congresswoman? because the problem seems to be that every time we reach this point, one of two things happen. either lawmakers on both sides say, well, let's not do it now under all this pressure. we'll get back to it later, and you and i both know, you never do, or they say, yeah, we have to cut things, but not this. and everyone is saying that. that's why voters are going crazy over congress, because they're saying nobody will act like an adult. >> actually -- that is not true. actually, it's the republicans who haven't put one thing on the table. democrats have set, you know, all kinds of proposals on the kinds of things that we could make some cuts in, you know? and we would move forward. but the republicans are simply saying what is unreasonable, and that is no tax cuts, none at all. and if you do any kind --
>> but that seems to be on the table right now. there is some hint that they are willing to talk about some changes in the tax code, if you are willing to address this. >> wait a minute. what they said was, what eric cantor made very clear, oh, yes, we may put some of those tax breaks for corporate jets or yachts on the table, but if we take those away, then there has to be other tax cuts that equal the same amount of money. in other words, no, it's not real. he is not being engine wine, that there will be a net increase in taxes that will go to paying down the debt. this is a irresponsible game that the republicans are playing with something as precious as the full faith and credit of the united states of america, that we will, in fact, stand behind the debts that we owe. this is not about more spending, this is about paying current debts. >> last quick question about this. look, you guys are still in
charge of the white house, you've still got the senate. a lot of people would say, you've got two-thirds of the equation here. if you want to fix it, fix it. go ahead. >> well, except that we need to have the votes in the house of representatives, and the leadership there, dominated by people who say, well, fine, just let the credit of the united states go to pot and it doesn't really matter. but, of course it matters. every serious analyst says that this would have a devastating impact. so we need to get the republicans, unfortunately, we need to get them to make some sort of an agreement. and so far, they're unwilling to face up to their responsibilities. >> well, it sounds like we're not a whole lot closer, despite all the talks, but i really appreciate your time, congressman schakowsky, appreciate it. >> appreciate it. moving on, when we come back, e.d. hill talks to the man who's talked to just about everybody on the planet. larry king on his latest exclusive with the pride of gryffindor.
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it's the end of a magical era. that's right, as the beloved harry potter movie series reacs its thrilling conclusion, this sunday night, our own larry king hosts a behind-the-scenes special, days before the final chapter hits the big screen. and joining us now from los angeles is the man who it was just announced today is getting a lifetime achievement award from the emmy folks. mr. larry king. welcome and congratulations. >> thank you, e.d. i am humbled. it's a great honor. it came out of nowhere, never expected it. i certainly appreciate pinpoint >> lifetime achievement from the national academy of television for arts and sciences. that's got to be an amazing feeling. how did you find out that they had selected you for this honor? >> they called me two weeks ago and my producer, wendy walker, who was with me for so many
years, they told her, and we had to keep it in confidence. i couldn't tell anyone until they made the announcement today. so i knew it two weeks ago. so i had to walk around with that exulted feeling for two weeks. >> a little puffed up for two weeks. >> i know, hey! hey, baby! >> you know who i am. you know, i read that you interviewed more than 50,000 people in your lifetime in journalism so far, including the villains of the day like o.j. simpson, scott peterson. i've got to ask you, what did you think about the casey anthony verdict? >> well, you know, e.d., i have -- all my life, i have never pre-judged anything. i never had an agenda going into an interview and i never pre-judged a trial. one, because i know the manifestations that can take place in a trial, and since i'm not present at the trial, how would i know what might have affected one juror as it might affect another? so i don't like, i don't like the whole overblown thing.
i don't like pundits giving opinions when they haven't been attending the trial every day, convicting before -- you always get shocked if you convict before trial begins. and in this trial, you had a classic example, in my opinion, of they absolutely, definitely proved that she is not the nicest person in the world. >> right. and that was about all she proved. >> but they did not prove a murder. >> you've got this special sunday, "harry potter: the final chapter," 8:00 eastern. the magic began in 1997. were you swept up from the start with this? >> in '97, i took my two boys to the first -- i had never read the potter books, but i had interviewed miss rawlings and was very impressed with her. i took my two boys, and at that time, one was 7 and one was 6, and they didn't get into it. so i was encouraging them, and i didn't get into it. then i kind of put it away. followed it with interest over the years, as i do when anything big is occurring. then i went to see the final
picture, before doing this special. and it is amazing. i was blown away by the special effects, by the way they put things together, the way they -- the makeup, the graphics, and you've got to see it in 3-d. this movie's going to make a ton. it's a great windup to a series. if you're going to do a finale, if you're going to close something, they close it great, and the ending is wonderful. >> well, i understand that people who get to watch your special are going to see things that have not been seen before. and one of the things i heard was that you talked to daniel radcliffe, of course, harry potter, and you asked him what happened the last day. and he said that he wept. now, did you sense that was distraught or is it, perhaps, a bit of relief, because when young actors like that, i mean, think back to ron howard, henry winkler, even sally field, when they get too heavily identified with one character, it sometimes makes it difficult for them to move past that. >> i think it's a mixed feeling, e.d.
that's a good question. it's a sadness over the end, and then you have to wonder about, what happens now? except in his case, this is an unusual kid. i just saw him do "how to succeed in business without really trying," and you ought to go see it. he is fantastic. he's a terrific little actor/singer/dancer, but he also did ""equu" on stage in london. i think he'll be a director some day. he'll never put harry potter totally behind him, but he'll go on. he's the kind of kid that will go on. >> well, for all the ladies who love harry potter, you also asked him about marriage and children. what did he tell you? >> he wants a ton of kids. he's got a girlfriend, didn't tell me who it was, and i didn't pry. but he is going to get married, apparently pretty soon, and he
wants a brood of kid. he's thinking like 8 or 10. he's an only child and all my life when i met children where they're the only child, when they get married, they want to have a lot of kids. >> married pretty soon? did he drop any secrets? >> my guess would be 2012. >> wow. that is big news. >> when he's ready. he's very mature. but you ought to go see it. you're in new york. do go see him. go see him on stage. he's a true performer. >> i will not miss that. i agree with you, he is a fantastic talent. and we certainly appreciate you bringing your talent and sharing it with us tonight. nobody wants to miss the harry potter special, "harry potter: the final chapter." cnn special hosted by the one and the only larry king, 8:00 p.m. eastern on sunday. thank you, larry. for 31 years, one small florida town had a front row seat on history. as the last space shuttle takes off, tom asks, how do 43,000
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finally tonight, we want to close with something we all know about, the last space shuttle taking off tomorrow. it's the end of an era, no doubt about that. but we found this very touching story we wanted to share with you. it's part of cnn's in depth series on the final shuttle mission. we want to take you to titusville, florida, who has had
a perfect view of the launch pad all these years, and it's now perfect place to say good-bye and remember. >> ten, nine -- >> it's not just seeing the space shuttle launch -- >> it starts with a low rumble. >> eight, seven -- >> and watching the vapor trail go into space -- >> almost like someone beating a drum. >> it's also feeling it. >> six -- >> and being close to it. >> five, four. >> and gets real angry. >> three -- >> loud. >> two -- >> smokey. >> one -- >> magnificent. >> zero. >> reporter: for almost half a century -- >> it's spectacular. it really is. >> reporter: titusville has been saying good-bye. no place on earth has had a better view of americans going into space than this small town on a strip of land just 15 miles
across the indian river from the launch pad. >> look at that. don't they look like baby lobsters? >> reporter: and for thousands of residents such as laura lee thomps thompson, a former shrimp boat captain, watching the liftoffs have become a way of life. >> this is our space wall. so this is where we've got some autographed pictures of astronauts here. >> reporter: she opened the restaurant to draw lunch crowds into her lobby. >> we have a population of 43,000, and there'll be several hundred thousand people here. so our population, it like triples or quadruples. >> reporter: but of course the town's role as the yankee stadium of man's space flight began much further back, in the 1960s, when the mercury, gemini, and apal low missions ignited the world's imagination. and when the man landed on the moon -- >> that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
>> reporter: to place was prouder. so proud that several monuments have been built here across the river, honoring not just those who went into space, but also those who put them there. like city manager mark ryan's parents. >> they're retired ibmers. my father worked on the instrument unit for the apollo rockets and my mother was in the quality control records keeping component for ibm as well. >> reporter: bobby sox has lived here more than 40 years. >> the accomplishment, the time frame, the ingenuity of our people to have accomplished what they did in such a short period of time, i'm still amazed by it. >> reporter: when tragedy struck, as it did on apollo 1 or the shuttle years later, the entire city mourned. >> we grieved. the whole city did. it was quite awful. like some member of a family
died. >> the "challenger" hit us hard for three years. the employment rate went up, people were laid off, and it had a dramt effect here. and for people like myself, i was an iwitness to the "challenger." i was standing on the river and watched pit. and there are times i look out over the river and i see the same cloud configuration or the skies as blue as it was that morning, i flash back. >> reporter: when danger threatened, as it did on apollo 13, they responded with prayers and the expertise that only a town filled with rocket scientists could bring. marty winkel. >> i was working third shift, we worked 12-hour shifts back then, seven days a week, and i was at home asleep. and i got a call at home, saying, we have a problem, and i explained what we could do. >> reporter: but for most, they have watched. >> chocolate cone, chocolate shake. >> reporter: david hammond is a
science teacher who still helps out with the family business. >> no, it's three deluxe burgers, two, no mayonnaise. >> started in '64 by my grandparents, named moonlight because the space program across the river was being started. we definitely feel the positive effects of the space shuttle launches. no doubt about that. if the shuttle was going off in an hour from now or just going off three hours ago ago, this whole street would be packed. i mean, bumper to bumper. you know, everyone's getting ready to see it, excited, lawn chairs, people on top of buildings, waiting for it to go off. >> reporter: now there will still be hundreds of nasa employees nearby, still unmanned rockets blasting off, but everyone knows without astronauts, the crowds won't be nearly as big. >> our community is going to lose the gift of hundreds of thousands of motel rooms that we really didn't have to work very hard to fill. >> reporter: the town's identity will slip a